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Healthcare expert says Black and Brown communities are being left behind in COVID-19 vaccinations

This push comes as one expert says Black and brown communities are still being left behind when having access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

CONNECTICUT, USA — Healthcare experts and officials are urging state and city officials to reconsider their plans when distributing information to minority communities. 

This push comes as one expert says Black and brown communities are still being left behind when having access to the COVID-19 vaccine. 

The city of New Britain is one of a few major cities experiencing hesitancy in Black and brown communities when it comes to taking the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Experts FOX61 spoke with say this is a major issue that may require a new strategy. 

Wilson Camelo who is healthcare and a multi-cultural expert said, "At the end of the day this is life or death, and that's why people should care." 

Camelo is urging state and city officials to reconsider strategies when dishing out information on the COVID-19 vaccine to Black and brown communities. 

Camelo says yes, the state as a whole is doing well in vaccine distribution but peeling back one layer to see who is getting the vaccine. Camelo added the state has more work to do. 

"Connecticut right now in terms of the population over 75 are 1.5-percent Black and only 2.3 percent of those are Hispanic, now let's keep in mind that the Black and Brown communities is a little bit younger than the white population,” said Camelo. 

State officials point to some barriers already known preventing Black and brown communities from getting the COVID-19 vaccine. 

State Senator Marilyn Moore said,  "We know what all the barriers are, access to computers,  access to the internet, access to information, transportation." 

Tekisha Everette added, “We may need to think about other factors in combination with age. Geography, race, ethnicity, age, co-morbidities." 

New Britain one of many major cities struggling to keep up with the rest of the state on vaccination says access is also causing disparities... 

In a statement, New Britain's mayor Erin Stewart claims the city has only been receiving around 100-vaccines per week when she should receive 10-times that number. 

Experts say access though is only part of the problem and say the way information is distributed may be an issue as well. 

Camelo said,  "People of color typically only trust people that look like us and are in our communities. So making sure that we're using the right surrogates to deliver our message is critical, but so is the message who is developing the message, is the message relevant to Black communities, is the message relevant to the Hispanic communities." 

Camelo says these are things city and state officials need to consider more of so everyone can have a fair share to getting vaccinated. 

"The state is changing, and so we need to adapt our process as well, our access and how our state reaches out to these communities,” said Camelo. 

Experts say urge every person of color in the state to reconsider taking the vaccine, especially for those who are currently eligible. 

CT DPH and its partners go to great lengths to provide high quality data that is free of errors. Because of the nature of public health surveillance, there are times when data updates are necessary due to a variety of reasons.

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